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Its raining toads!

Its raining toads!

Follow the tales of Saptarshi Mukherjee’s chance finding of a pair of mating Marbled Toad in Asansol, Chotonagpur Plateau.

It was a rainy evening of 3rd July 2017 in Asansol, when I sat on my balcony to enjoy the rains.  Suddenly I heard a mating call of a toad which was definitely not the call of an Asian Common Toad (Duttaphrynus melanostictus). I walked down to my garden and found that the mating couple was a pair of Indian Marbled Toad (Duttaphrynus stomaticus). This was perhaps the first record of that particular species from the Chotonagpur Plateau region of West Bengal.

The Marbled Toad is a medium sized toad, easily distinguishable from the Common Toad by the absence of Cranial Ridges, the black cornified area of the upper lip and less warty skin. Its coloration is Grey or olive above with darker marblings. Ventral side and upper lip are white, which easily distinguishes it from the Asian Common Toad.

The females of this species are larger than males. A male develops a light bright yellowish tint season and has a singular vocal sac and has black cornified patches on the inner aspect of the first and second finger during the breeding season. The dorsum is tuberculated, with the crown of the head above parotid glands smooth or with few scattered tubercles. A row of white tubercles and wart with horny layer are found along outer aspect of the forearm;  ventrally coarsely granular with wart but the chin and throat are smooth. The Marbled toad is brownish with white dorsal and dorsolateral stripes and speckled with a ‘V’ – shaped mark on the shoulder. The flank and limbs are also light brownish grey with white stripes and speckle. A white line connects the orbit while the ventral surface is dull.

Their recorded mating behavior within the city have been observed in shallow rainwater pools, although I found them under heavy rainfall, on a concrete slab. The male was on the female. The call of the male was distinctive which is easily distinguishable from that of the Common Toad.

This species is widely distributed in Pakistan, India, Nepal and Bangladesh, also common in West Bengal, along with the Gangetic plain. But in Chota Nagpur Plateau region of West Bengal, it is a rare species and is perhaps the first photographic documentation from the region.

 

Read also: Croaks all around 


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About the Author /

By profession an SBI Employee, a Student of Zoology, who is an Amateur Conservationist, Photographer & Explorer. He has been working for the conservation in Chotonagpur Plateau (especially in Asansol) with his friends for the last 5 years. His group "Nature Lovers of Chotonagpur Plateau" emphasizes conservation and exploration of this little known vast eco-region.

Comments(10)

  • Abhijit Satpati

    July 22, 2018

    Excellent

  • Anik Karmakar

    July 22, 2018

    darun dada

  • Sayan Dasmahapatra

    July 22, 2018

    Good article & lovely information, Great work done by Mr. Saptarshi Mukherjee.

  • Rakhi Mahapatra

    July 22, 2018

    Enriched by your article… carry on…best of luck😊

  • Supriya Samanta

    July 22, 2018

    Informative. A rare one from our region.

  • Saptarshi Goswami

    July 24, 2018

    Superb dada, rare one from our PLATEAU😍

  • Subhendu

    July 24, 2018

    There are very few current articles available on Internet about Chotanagpur. Your article makes a remark on That. Hope will get more from You. Best Wishes. Regards

  • Diptesh Goswami

    July 24, 2018

    Excellent work and description.

  • rahul mishra

    July 25, 2018

    Brilliant work…sir

  • rahul mishra

    July 25, 2018

    Brilliant work sir…

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